• # Spacetime

Posted by on April 25, 2023 at 7:30 AM

Spacetime is any mathematical model that fuses the three dimensions of space (length, width, and depth) and the one dimension of time into a single four-dimensional manifold. It represents the “stage“ in which physical phenomena take place.

Spacetime is a physical concept that combines our classic traditionally distinct notions of space and time into a single homogeneous entity. The introduction of spacetime is a direct consequence of the special theory of relativity, which establishes an equivalence between space and time. Just as in our classical view of space its three component dimensions are equivalent and homogeneous with each other and relative to the observer (what is considered forward or backward by one observer can be considered right or left by another observer arranged differently), the relativistic view also assimilates the temporal dimension (before-after) to the three spatial dimensions, making it perceivable differently by observers under different conditions.

Four-dimensional space (also called space-time continuum or chronotope) used in the theory of relativity to represent the physical world on the basis of the three dimensions corresponding to ordinary space and a fourth corresponding to time; this extension is made necessary by the fact that in the theory of special relativity the time interval between two events distant in space is not an absolute quantity, but depends on the spatial reference system in which it is measured: in the transformations between different reference systems, the temporal coordinates are also transformed as a function of spatial coordinates, and vice versa (Lorentz transformations). The mathematical formalization of the concept of space-time is called Minkowski space, after the Lithuanian mathematician H. Minkowski (1864-1909) who introduced it.

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